Page last updated at 19:17 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 20:17 UK

Curfew scheme 'breaches rights'

Graffiti
Police hope parents in the area will observe the curfew times

Proposals for a roll-out of curfews on children in Cornwall are being described as a breach of human rights.

The scheme is being trialled in part of Redruth to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Julia Goldsworthy, MP for Falmouth and Camborne, said it should be rolled out in other problem areas if it proved successful.

But David Callahan, 17, a member of the Youth Parliament in Cornwall, said it was unjustified.

The voluntary curfew in Redruth, known as Operation Goodnight, means parents will be asked to have under 10s at home by 2000 BST and 16-year-olds off the streets by 2100 BST.

It will operate in the Close Hill area of the town from 25 July until 7 September.

'Hanging around'

The aim is to reduce the risk of children becoming victims of crime or becoming offenders themselves.

Ms Goldsworthy said: "It should be trialled properly with a view to rolling it out to other troublespots in the county if it gets results.

"While we must not demonise all young people, we have to acknowledge that youngsters don't have to commit crime or anti-social behaviour to be intimidating to residents.

"Simply hanging around on street corners can be enough of a threat."

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This is community policing and a community trying to look after itself
Geoff, London
Mr Callahan said: "Young people have the right under the UN Human Rights Convention to hang around in groups unless they are causing a nuisance.

"Curfews will cast all young people in a negative image."

Neighbourhood beat manager Pc Marc Griffin said the curfew had arisen from feedback to a successful dispersal order in October last year.

"Very clearly residents were saying a significant number of parents appeared to be allowing their children out without any behavioural boundaries and a number of the children seemed to be lacking in social responsibility," he said.




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